As we head into the Bank Holiday and the first weekend since lifting of the Stay at Home order on Monday, I’d like to update you on our Covid-19 situation locally. The incidence rate in Croydon is currently among the lowest in London and continues to fall. The vaccine rollout is going brilliantly in our borough, thanks to our partners in Croydon NHS and I would urge anyone who is over 50, or in a priority group, to book their appointment now if they haven’t already received their first dose.
We are certainly in a better place than this time last year and when the last lockdown was put in place in December. However, while there is much to feel positive about, we must remember where we have come from. It is devastating that to date, 990 Croydon residents have lost their lives in this pandemic and every one of these numbers represents a family who tragically, will not be looking forward to a reunion with their loved one this weekend. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them.
So it is vital that we all now take care not to undo the progress we have made. The incidence rate has fallen because the sacrifices we have made during lockdown have worked – we have slowed the spread of the virus by staying at home. Many of you will be looking forward to long-awaited reunions with family and friends this weekend – do enjoy this precious time, but as your director of public health, I must ask you to please, do so safely. Communicable disease loves close contact and only by avoiding this, do we break the chains of transmission.
If you are meeting people, protect yourself and others by always following hands, face, space, fresh air:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Wear a face covering
- Always keep a 2m distance from others
- Meet outside or in private gardens – in groups of no more than six people or two households. Government restrictions remain in place – check them here.
None of us want to see a return to lockdown – so let’s keep our distance from our loved ones, so that we can continue to spend time with them.
As we travel along the government’s roadmap for recovery, testing for Covid-19 becomes even more important. Around 1 in 3 people have no symptoms but can pass the infection to others, so testing regularly even if you don’t have symptoms, helps to prevent the virus spreading. Anyone who lives or works in Croydon can now access free, rapid Covid-19 tests at our community testing sites and we recommend testing regularly – twice weekly – if you leave your home for work or other reasons. Croydon’s rapid testing sites are open over the Bank Holiday, apart from Easter Sunday – find out more and book on our webpage.
Rapid Covid-19 testing is for people without symptoms only – if you have any of the main coronavirus symptoms, self-isolate straight away and book a PCR test through the government website. If you test positive by any means, you must self-isolate to protect others.
Finally, I’d like to wish you all a happy, healthy and safe Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Thank you all for helping to keep Croydon safe.
Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health